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Volume 2, Chapter 28 – The Bluestone Screen Wall, The Sword Crossing Origin
Zhang Yan had heard that the Vast Origin Sect was monopolizing paper charms and symbol manufacturing. They were also proud, violent and arrogant, and in turn had offended a lot of schools and sects. In about 1000 years ago, something happened, and they faced great changes. Several powerful elders died in sitting postures while their Sect Master’s whereabouts were also unknown, while the next successors in the sect lacked an outstanding generation. Several hostile sects collaborated and converged to attack the sect, causing their vitality and power to be severely damaged.
Since then, the previously first-tier sect turned into a second-tier sect and finally became a vassal to the Great Southern Sect to guarantee their survival, and they had to manufacture large quantities of secret Symbol Talismans as a tribute to the Great Southern Sect every 10 years, in which it also had this Origin Talisman amongst them.
This Origin Talisman was usually incorporated with one’s True Primordial Qi and spiritual qi. And having this talisman would allow the owner to not worry about lacking strength in battle, thus, all in all, it was a good thing.
Zhang Yan picked and tidied up the things properly in his hand and also summoned back those beautiful Demon Mermaids. He saw that it wouldn’t be far of a distance to go out from the influence of this Earth’s vein’s chaotic and magnetic force. He simply could tread on the waves and head in vanguard. After having traveled for less than 20 miles, he felt that the chaotic energy bondage already weakened. He then released 3 flying ships and then loaded those Demon Mermaids aboard as they set up and flew to the air, heading straight to the west direction toward the Azure Ocean Sect.
After more than a month, the impressive Wild Dragon Great Lake was within sight.
In this return trip, Zhang Yan had refined 2 strands of spiritual qi, and he only needed 1 last strand to be refined. However, he suddenly felt that it was not a fortunate timing to breakthrough into the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm because he thought that breaking through the threshold was imminent and he didn’t have to rush it at the moment. He then decided to do it later, after he went back to Sect, and didn’t think about it again.
He then used the rest of his time to submerge his consciousness into the Broken Jade and researched how to refine the Dark Yin Heavy Water.
One must know that this was a particular set of techniques and methods, thus it was called as “The Law”. It was because apart from the need of Dark Yin Heavy Water, it also had its own meticulous and complex refining process. The qi must be circulated repeatedly in the meridians’ channels from top to bottom, as it had to draw out the Impure Qi. Its complexity was almost comparable with the profound method he was practicing when he opened his meridians.
Executing the method according to the “Billows Cloud Secret Manual”, each drop of refined Dark Yin Heavy Water would take 108 days. But according to him, it seemed that if one was not familiar with the method to a certain degree, even if they tempered themselves with dozens of more days, they wouldn’t be able to refine it. But fortunately, he had the Broken Jade, and was able to be successful in a month, less than the required time of the 2 years time window, and he only needed to insist in tempering himself.
After the flying ship had entered the Wild Dragon Great Lake, the cruise patrolling disciple on guard duty came over and questioned him. When they knew that he was a true disciple and the emissary member for a diplomatic mission to the Rainbow Stonefield Water State, their attitude towards him turned respectful. Zhang Yan’s group then was able to go all the way unobstructed. He first returned back to the Spirit Leaf Island, opened the restrictive seal, and settled Luo Xiao and those Demon Mermaids down first. After having stopped for a while, he then flew towards the Alchemy Pavilion.
He already returned back to the Sect and felt relaxed. He slowly drove the flying ship and enjoyed watching the lake scenery along the way. After almost midday, he finally arrived at the Alchemy Pavilion.
After having flown past the 3 palaces halls, he saw that Zhou Chongju’s fishing boat was in the center of the lake. He took a detour and rushed to that place. As soon as his ship had landed, a child servant who was on duty was pleasantly surprised and loudly shouted, “Master Ancestor, Martial Uncle Zhang Yan has come back.”
Zhang Yan tidied up his clothing first outside the door, and shortly after he stepped onto the attic.
Upon seeing him come, Zhou Chongju put down the book in his hand with a slight astonishment surfacing on his face, “Junior Brother, you returned… You’ve only just left for 5 months, how come you’ve come back already?”
Zhang Yan took a round chair and then sat down as he then sighed, “It’s a long story. I meet a Pill Master in the Water State named Ren Cai. This person is especially familiar with the Water State’s circumstances, he also had a long-standing and deep relationship with several clans and tribes’ patriarchs. This Junior Brother also heard some news from him that each faction is currently purchasing a large number of weapons and Divine Weapons, and seems to be sharpening their teeth and fangs with sharp knives and blades. At first, I didn’t pay too much attention, but after I’ve seen King Zhen’s straightforwardness and conduct, it was not like a Ruler should do, I decided to leave as early as possible. But fortunately, I’ve been successful in obtaining the official Signed Agreement.”
Zhou Chongju looked spirited and replied, “You’ve succeeded in obtaining the Signed Agreement? Let me take a look!”
Zhang Yan took out the gold-colored Signed Agreement document from his sleeve and handed it over.
Zhou Chongju received and flipped it over. He saw the Water State’s Royal Sovereign’s seal on the surface. Apart from it, he also saw King Zhen’s seal on it. The only ones missing were seals from each clan. He then shook his head and spoke, “It seems that Junior Brother’s expectations are true. Each clan’s patriarch and Ji Jiushang appear to be united but are in fact divided at heart. It seems that civil strife is imminent, otherwise, they couldn’t have had signed this Signed Agreement in a hurry. Once the Water State has fallen into civil war, the killing and war between us and the Three Anchor Lakes’ demons will break out again. This sealed Signed Agreement is also equal to being useless, but it actually still gives us righteous cause. For managing this issue, you could be counted as to have handled it perfectly.”
This Signed Agreement was actually clamped in that Brilliant Daoist Robe that was given to Zhang Yan. At first, he was also surprised for the other party’s purpose, and only later did he gradually understand it.
For fear that some Clan’s Patriarchs in the Water State wouldn’t approve to receding the Radiant Cloud Shellfish Field to the Azure Ocean Sect, Ji Jiushang was preparing to support King Zhen to the throne. He also feared that the Azure Ocean Sect would become hostile, therefore, he bypassed a lot of clan patriarchs to sign this agreement by himself, and gave the pacifying mediation to the Azure Ocean Sect first before he turned his attention to deal with the internal affairs of the Water State. Only then would he be able to clean up his opposition without worries.
Zhou Chongju put down the gold-colored sealed document and asked, “I heard that the diplomatic mission’s envoy had once suffered an attack from the Deep Ford Gorge’s Demons. The Su Family had dispatched some manpower to rescue you, and this time the Su Family also has suffered some casualties. Did this really happen?”
Zhang Yan sneered and replied, “Really, the Su Family is showing a good play.”
Zhou Chongju revealed an expression that he had long expected this kind of result. Upon seeing that Zhang Yan didn’t elaborate in more details, he no longer asked but patted the gold sealed documents and spoke, “I’ll deliver this Signed Agreement to the Sect Master. Junior Brother, since you’ve come back, you might as well visit the Azure Cliff Wall in the Heroes Gathering Island to listen to Elder Chen’s lessons about the flying sword techniques for the Sect’s last generation disciples. This is a 16 years annual event, and in itself is a rare opportunity. You cannot miss this.”
Each generation of Outer Disciples was 16 years apart. This generation was not referred to the relationship between Masters and Disciples, but it referred to the imparting experience for the newest disciples from their seniors. Zhang Yan had just entered the Upper Court for less than a year, and according to such requirement, he was indeed “the last generation.”
“Imparting flying sword techniques?”
Zhang Yan’s complexion moved. He also remembered the fight between Shen Yuefeng and Luo Xiao on the river surface before. Luo Xiao almost couldn’t resist and continuously stepped back due to his flying sword technique. Had it not for having magical treasures at hand, coupled with using the location’s advantages, it was extremely difficult to deal with this person.
He had long heard that amongst the 16 Great Factions in the Great Eastern Continent, only 5 Sects had disciples at the Radiant Qi Realm who were able to make and control Sword Bullets. And when he had just got back today to the Azure Ocean Sect, someone was teaching the killing arts for flying sword techniques. He felt that he really must go to observe and learn it.
After having chatted for a while with Zhou Chongju, he got up, and then left. When he departed from the fishing boat, he directed the flying ship to head straight for Heroes’ Gathering Island.
Half an hour later, he had arrived in front of a mountain surrounded by a lush and dense forest, shaped like a big basin island.
A 900 feet tall towering stone pillar was reclining in the northern part of the island. Its smoothness resembled a huge azure-colored stele as vast as a wide plain facing this huge stone pillar. At this moment, a number of people were flocking to that place. And as far as the eyes can see, the number in the crowd would perhaps amount to tens of thousands of people.
The Elders in the Azure Ocean Sect must give teachings and impart their experience once a year. The teachings varied and included all kinds of profound and magical techniques. This time was precisely Elder Chen’s turn to give the teaching. Regardless of whether the disciples were branches, either from apprenticeship, the Waning List, ancient families, and so on, as long as they were the last generation’s disciples, they were allowed to attend the lecture.
When he had just arrived here, Zhang Yan didn’t dare to fly rashly as he landed from afar and walked toward the plain. He saw that each disciple was seated on a stone block around the stone pillar which now was almost full, leaving only 2 vacant seats in front. When he was just about to take a step there, a girl nearby stood up as she greeted him and spoke, “Senior Brother, those are the seats for Senior Brother Yun and Senior Brother Meng. There is still an empty seat here.”
Zhang Yan was startled as he looked back and saw a girl about 15 or 16 years old with a round face and cherry lips. She looked pretty and delicate as well as pleasant to the eyes. Her bright eyes were pure and innocent. Seeing that near her side a stone platform was still vacant, he walked toward it and then let out a faint smile, “Then, thanks for this, Junior Sister.”
When this girl saw Zhang Yan’s eyes were looking at her, her face turned slightly red and then replied, “Senior Brother is too polite. It wouldn’t be good if we offend those Senior Brothers with cultivation more powerful than ours.”
The seat here was in fact arranged according to cultivation base level. The most front row was for Third and Second Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm, and then followed with the First Stage Radiant Qi Realm, and lastly for disciples who just opened their meridians. Zhang Yan was cultivating the Taiyi Golden Manual and also concealed his Evil Qi. Unless other people’s cultivation was higher than his, others would be unable to see his cultivation base, so being mistaken that his cultivation was not high was natural.
Zhang Yan sat down as he cupped his hands over and asked, “I don’t know how to address Junior Sister.”
“My name is Qin Nan, Senior Brother is…”
This girl actually wanted to ask Zhang Yan’s name, but when her cherry lips were just about to open, the chime ring sounded for quite a while and spread all over the entire audience. The child servant then stood and shouted, “The time has come. Master Ancestor’s lecture is about to begin, so all the disciples must not make any noises.”
Everyone immediately turned silent and looked to the front with rapt attention.
Zhang Yan looked to the front and saw that someone was sitting uprightly on a stone platform at the left side of the bluestone screen wall. His face was wide with a long beard. That person presumably was Elder Chen. He waved his duster before as a disciple attendant at his side then stood.
The disciple walked toward the bluestone screen wall as a white light suddenly flew from the center of his forehead. A Sword Bullet leaped forward to the air as it danced and circled around his body.
He looked at Elder Chen as he slowly nodded his head, turned around toward the audience and then spoke in a loud voice, “This sword art is called Sword Crossing Origin. After you see it today, you must not, by any means, pass it onto others in private. Otherwise, by means of the Sect’s regulation, you will be severely punished.”
He paused for a second and continued, “All of you take a careful look.”
He pointed to one spot as the white-colored Sword Bullet then flew straight just like an arrow that darted over to the destination 300 feet ahead. It danced and circled around in the air for a moment and then maneuvered up and down, and shuttled back and forth, just like a silverfish playing in the water, causing everyone to be in a daze and stunned.
As he stopped, he formed a seal and shouted, “Return!” Then, the Sword Bullet returned back to his forehead.
Having finished demonstrating this sword art, he turned toward the disciples and cupped his hand. He then returned back toward Elder Chen’s side and stood there.
At this time, under the platform, some disciples shouted in alarm. It turned out that a hundred feet towering bluestone screen wall above were as if it was rippled and undulated as the Sword Bullet’s track before unexpectedly appeared. Looking at it carefully, it was just like a shadowless celestial being was maneuvering and dancing. It was similar with the swordplay demonstrated by that disciple a moment ago. Only if it was being enlarged a few times could the slight changes be seen clearly.
This was a unique feature of the Azure Cliff Wall in the Azure Ocean Sect. As long as one was training facing this screen wall, it would project back the magical art and movements.
All the disciples knew that this opportunity was very rare as they locked their vision tightly on it, for fear they could miss even a tiny bit detail.
Zhang Yan also watched carefully with unperturbed attention, and he faintly had a grasp on it.
After having waited for the projection on the screen wall to disperse, Elder Chen’s eyelid then opened and squinted. He pointed to a disciple in front with his duster and spoke slowly, “Feng Ming, you seem to have grasped it.”
This disciple stood up and said, “This Sword Art is absolutely profound, to this disciple’s cultivation experience, this one could only barely memorize it.”
Elder Chen nodded, his finger pointed as a white light flew to this disciple’s hands, “You go up and train!”
“Yes!” This disciple received the Sword Bullet and came forward facing the eyes of tens of thousands of disciples. But his expression was calm as usual. He took a deep breath and released the Sword Bullet in his hand and trained the Sword Art that had been demonstrated before.
Zhang Yan whispered, “Who is this person?”
Qin Nan replied with a strange expression, “Senior Brother doesn’t know Senior Brother Feng Ming? He is the most talented disciple in our generation. He had crossed the threshold when he was 15-years-old. And now he is already in the Third Stage of the Radiant Qi Realm. It is said that he’s now looking for Cloud Sand to condense his Profound Light Seed and is fancied by all Masters.”
After saying that, Qin Nan’s face flushed red, showing her admiration.
A sword light soared in the field as the Sword Bullet unceasingly fluttered in his hands. Zhang Yan looked at him for a few times and he also realized that this youth was quite talented. Although this set of Sword Arts was also memorized by everyone, but the profound essence behind it was not that easy to grasp. That this youth relied on his perception able to imitate several points of this technique was indeed quite rare.
After having demonstrated his Sword Art, Feng Ming received the Sword Bullet as he then cupped his hands toward the surroundings. Although he looked polite and modest on the surface, but he was unable to conceal the proud expression on his face.
Elder Chen nodded slightly and said, “This set of Sword Crossing Origin is our Sect’s basic Flying Sword Art. However, you cannot master it within a short period of time.” He then stroked his beard and continued, “2 days ago, Senior Brother Xun has refined a set of Sword Bullets that from Stars Essence Sand. These are 10 of them. Since he has a surplus, he divided it to me for my Sword Bullet. Today I also similarly want to examine and verify it within these 10 days. If anyone of you is able to comprehend this Flying Sword Art a bit, I will grant you this thing!”
When his words stopped here, all the tens of thousands of disciples’ eyes in the field revealed an excited expression. Feng Ming’s eyes were also burning hot. It’s the Stars Essence Sand. It was the object that only cultivators with cultivation at Primordial Nascent Soul or above were able to refine. If they could obtain this Sword Bullet, their strength would increase by several folds in a fight.
Upon seeing that all the disciples’ moods were soaring high, Elder Chen faintly smiled. He flung his duster as tens of thousands white lights then sprinkled down in a split second.
Seeing a small white light in front of him, Zhang Yan quickly stretched his hand out to catch a platinum Sword Bullet and used it to practice the Sword Art.
He couldn’t help but show a faint smile. If he had to compare a profound cultivation method or his own cultivation base, he himself had yet to perfectly reach the Third Stage. After all, he was left behind for a little bit. However, if he were to compete in comprehending the Sect’s Sword Art, never would he be afraid of anyone else.